The Earl and Countess of Wessex got up close with a number of animals at Vauxhall City Farm on Thursday to mark the start of Black History Month. Sophie appeared to particularly enjoy feeding the alpacas during the visit, as she made a number of funny remarks.
Sophie was introduced to Jerry the alpaca and talked to the animal as he stared at her while waiting to be fed.
The Countess, who wore an elegant cream coat, plum jumper and olive green trousers for the visit, said to the animal: “You’ve got a funny face.
“I suppose you must think I have a funny face too.”
Jerry was in a pen with fellow alpacas Tom and Ben, a trio who were hired to appear in the multi-million pound blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
After meeting and feeding several of the animals, the Earl and Countess of Wessex then saw the farm’s community engagement programmes action.
They met with staff, volunteers, local residents and schoolchildren as the farm marked the start of Black History Month.
The royal couple spent time with schoolchildren who participate in the farm’s programme of educational activities, who shared stories and poems about important figures in black history.
They also met graduates of the farm’s New Shoots programme, which helps equip unemployed young people with the skills to gain employment, and provides access to career guidance, mentoring and training.
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Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest central city farms in London, founded more than 40 years ago.
The farm provides valuable education, recreation and health benefits to the local community, as well as offering regular educational and vocational activities to local schools.
A new community garden is also being created at the farm, which will include an educational therapy hub that uses gardening and horticulture to support children and adults facing physical and mental health challenges.
The farm was forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown and lost 80 percent of its income.
It is now fundraising for the lost funds.
Ms Tyler said: “We launched an appeal and have so far raised £250,000.
“Visits like this are so important for us.”